- Series: Practice Makes Perfect Series
- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (April 11, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0844273112
- ISBN-13: 978-0844273112
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 10.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 97 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #816,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Practice Makes Perfect: Spanish Pronouns And Prepositions 1st Edition
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There are a lot of exercises and the answers are in the back, so you can check in the beginning to see if you are on course as you begin the work or just check at the end.
This part of Spanish has been the hardest for me to master, it is wonderful to find a clear guide to help me out.
What kind of learner am I?
I teach in a university-based adult education program, where many of my students are native Spanish speakers. My high school and college Spanish classes were a distant memory, but when I chose this book and its companions (complete grammar and verbs), I DID remember enough to communicate at a basic level. I've found this series excellent for improving my Spanish enough for my students to comment enthusiastically after a relatively short time. I have no instructor, but I learn well from books, and I already knew how to pronounce Spanish words. For someone else in my position, I can't recommend this series highly enough--it's the best I found after extensive searching, library loans, etc.
Getting the most from this product:
I also recommend getting all three books (complete grammar, pronouns/prepositions, and verbs) as I did. I've found that it's been helpful to work through a few sections in one book, switch to one of the others, and move ahead in similar jags through all three at once. I can tell when to switch by when I start to feel like I'm getting in over my head--I think it would be difficult to learn alone using just one of these.
Another tip: This series is pure grammar, but there's plenty of culture and literature available free online. I've supplemented the books by reading Spanish-language newspapers online (my favorite seems to be the BBC/Latin America), pasting the text into [...] to check my reading as needed. Often, I've translated these in their entirety for practice (the free translation's enough to understand, but not a particularly good translation). I also found a Spanish-speaking penpal by visiting Spanish chatrooms, and write back and forth frequently as a way to practice my written Spanish. These activities have provided the learning richness that simple grammar texts aren't intended to offer.
Who shouldn't use this?
However, if (for example) you know no (or almost no) Spanish now or remember very little vocabulary, this would be a poor choice. It definitely assumes some level of familiarity with the language. Also, if you're an auditory learner or need a human instructor, you won't find it in this (or any other) text-only book.
After having left school, I started working for a company with a high number of Spanish speakers. When I would try to converse with my co-workers, I found myself getting tripped up on simple words. I knew what I wanted to say-- I knew the nouns, adjectives, and verbs-- but I just couldn't connect them all together to make a coherent sentence. It was really embarrassing because they are such basic words. Maybe my co-workers could still understand what I was saying, but I just did not feel comfortable with knowing that I was sounding like Tarzan.
This book was exactly what I needed. It hones in on very specific types of pronouns and prepositions-- from the most basic (subject pronouns) to the more advanced (use of cuyo, lo que, RID formula, passive voice, etc.) to the downright tricky for English speakers (para vs por).
After having gone through this book, I was surprised to have learned so much valuable information-- though I was also slightly embarrassed because I realized just how many mistakes I had been making when I conversed with fluent speakers. But I realize that that is part of speaking another language and trying to become bilingual: you have to make mistakes in order to learn. Sometimes the little things really do matter! As the writer explains in the book, unlike with nouns, adjectives, and verbs, there really is no way to get around expressing most pronouns and prepositions. Substitutes just don't work! You have to know them (and how to use them in sentences.)
I would definitely recommend this book for intermediate students, or for more advanced students to use as a review. This book is probably not the best choice for beginners (you would definitely have to use a dictionary for all the exercises), but since the information is so valuable, I would recommend it for future use and reference.